Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ACLUTX on truancy, youth rights

The ACLU of Texas filed a lawsuit in Hidalgo County related to how truancy cases are handled in Hidalgo County, according to Valleycentral.com:
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class action lawsuit against all nine justices of the peace regarding the way they handle truancy cases.

The lawsuit against the JPs, Sheriff Lupe TreviƱo and Hidalgo County was filed in McAllen federal court late Monday afternoon.

The ACLU asserts that teens, who were over the age of 17 and cited in truancy cases, had to spend up to a week with adults in the Hidalgo County Jail.

The civil rights group claims many of the teens were ticketed for truancy and other school-related offense before their 17th birtndays.

The ACLU claims Hidalgo County has created a "school to prison pipeline" burdening teens from poor families with heavy fines that they can't pay resulting in jail time.
See their press release and additional background on the case. MORE: From the McAllen Monitor and the Houston Press.

Relatedly, ACLUTX will be holding a one-day conference this weekend in Austin titled "Youth Rights in Texas: Sensible School Discipline" in conjunction with the group's annual meeting.


Juliets Mom said...

I have seen several young offenders who were under the age of 17 when they committed the offense, but 17 or older when sentenced to TDC. I agree this is warped, but I also believe Texas needs to rethink how they are handling young offenders.

Every day across this state (Williamson County) non-violent offenders between the ages of 17 and 21 are being sent to TDC for piddly stuff and placed in general population with violent criminals serving long sentences. It is a fact that younger offenders have a much higher risk of being devoured by other offenders as well as unsavory guards. There are valid studies out there on this topic.

ACLUTX should be advocating for all non-violent offenders under age 21 who are serving time in maximum security units along side criminals that most of us hope to never meet.

Con-Care said...

Big deal! TX-ACLU hasn't taken on REAL issues for years. Always the safer ones.
When will they get some balls again?